‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Gets Age Restricted Rating

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Chris Pratt, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan as the Guardians of the Galaxy in 'The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' (2023). Credit: Marvel Studios

Credit: Marvel Studios

The little ones have to stay home for this one.

guardians of the galaxy
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Chris Pratt, James Gunn Officially Retiring from Marvel, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Ending Franchise

Ever since Iron Man (2008) brought Robert Downey Jr. back into the spotlight as the eponymous Iron Man/Tony Stark, The Avengers (2012), helmed by director Joss Whedon truly set the standard for multiple stories spanning across an entire “cinematic universe”, culminating in an epic merged conclusion. This was further perfected with the end of the Infinity Saga, the Russo Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) ending Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Captain America with the Avengers
Credit: Marvel Studios

Phase Four is now over with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), as The Walt Disney Company’s Marvel Studios and their Marvel Cinematic Universe based on the Marvel Comics, steps more solidly into Phase Five. Now, the Multiverse Saga truly begins with the second act centering around more of Kang the Conqueror’s presence, properly established in recent Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023). Now, the Marvel Studios Guardians are in for a final ride (with several members likely to say their farewells), in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 directed by now-DC Studios head James Gunn (in his final Marvel universe project) and score by John Murphy, slated for release May 5, 2023 — after their last outing in Disney+’s The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Drax (Dave Bautista) in 'The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special' (2022). Credit: Marvel Studios
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Pulls Tom Holland After Seemingly Spoiling Upcoming Movie

What’s happening with Guardians 3?

Upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Marvel movie will star a multitude of familiar faces in the cast who will reprise their roles from the previous Guardians and Avengers films. Fans will get to see gun-toting human (and former-part-Celestial), Peter Quill as Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), daughters of Thanos, Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), tree-like alien Groot (Vin Diesel), fluffy-yet-deadly Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), revenge-bound Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), empath Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Ravager Kraglin Obfonteri (Sean Gunn), Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone), and even Cosmo the Spacedog (Maria Bakalova). These space-roving heroes will come face-to-face with the all-gold Adam Warlock, played by newcomer Will Poulter, as well as Elizabeth Debicki’s Ayesha. Chukwudi Iwuji will also play the High Evolutionary in the new MCU movie, while Daniela Melchior, Nico Santos, Asim Chaudhry are cast in undisclosed roles.

Pom Klementieff as Mantis, and Dave Bautista as Drax in 'Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2' (2017)
Credit: Marvel Studios
Previously, director James Gunn has discussed making an R-rated Guardians of the Galaxy film, and made it clear that that was never his actual intention with the Guardians franchise. That doesn’t seem to stop him from making somewhat “edgier” superhero films, not shying away from strong language, “intense sequences of violence”, and even “suggestive” elements and “drug references”, as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) states:
… intense sequences of violence and action, strong language, suggestive/drug references, and thematic elements.
This time, it seems that not everyone is going to be able to watch this newest Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, as James Gunn’s “much more mature” take, as reported by The Direct, is getting an age restricted rating from the MPAA, of PG-13 — which means that fans below 13 years of age will not be able to attend screenings of the new Guardians of the Galaxy volume. Most importantly, these new rating descriptors give us a lot of new insights into the nature of the darker Guardians movie.

What does this MPAA rating tells us about Guardians Vol. 3?

Guardians lineup (left to right) Mantis, Drax, Star-Lord, Gamora, Baby Groot, Yondu, Nebula
Credit: Marvel Studios

Essentially, the “intense sequences of violence and action” is not the most typically seen in Marvel Studios movies — and this phrase occurring within the MPAA descriptor justifying its rating tells us that audiences and Marvel fans can expect a much darker take on the previously comedy-filled, space-roving romps of Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017). With both Drax the Destroyer and Rocket Raccoon on the proverbial chopping block due to their actors wanting to exit the franchise, it’s almost certain that their respective ends could be… well, bloody. Here’s hoping that the rest of the Guardians make it out okay, physically, mentally and (mostly) emotionally.

Check out the new Guardians movie trailer here:

What do you think the rating descriptors could indicate about Guardians Vol. 3‘s plot?

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